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2003: Errol Brown holds his MBE with his wife Ginette after receiving the award for his services to pop music Photo: REUTERS/POOL/Fiona Hanson

DTB Remembers: Errol Brown – “Hot Chocolate”

“The love I felt at each concert will stay in my heart forever. I wish you love peace and happiness in your lives.”
Love You, Errol x

Errol Brown, died of cancer aged 71, he was the lead singer of Hot Chocolate, the unique British Soul band known for the 1975 disco anthem ‘You Sexy Thing’ Errol Brown’s seductive voice stage presence, and charismatic, masterful personality, made him an International star with exuberant stage presence.

In 1969 while demoing a Reggae version of the John Lennon song ‘Give Peace A Chance’, Errol however, sent a copy of the Beatles song to their record label with the version of the song, to the Beatles record label with fingers crossed. John Lennon loved the version and it was released on the ‘Apple’ label. Errol and his friends were given the name, ‘The Hot Chocolate Band’ which later changed to ‘Hot Chocolate’.

Towards the end of 1969 Mickie Most signed Errol and the co-founder of the group Tony Wilson as writers, and recorded their songs with Mary Hopkins, Julie Felix and Herman’s Hermits before encouraging them to come up with a song for themselves.

In 1970 Hot Chocolate, with Errol Brown as lead singer, released their first record entitled, ‘Love is Life’ which reached number 6 in the charts. This was the start of a fifteen year career for the group who amassed a total of over 30 hits and also became the only group in the UK to have a hit for fifteen consecutive years. Brown’s bald headed charismatic image and unique voice being the central focus of the group along with a great song writing talent that saw him write such great Pop classic hit songs including ‘It Started With a Kiss’, ‘You Sexy Thing’ and Everyone’s a Winner.

Everyones A Winner

‘You Sexy Thing’, Brown called, “a joyous song”. I remember when I thought of the title I had a shiver go through me. Because it was such a nice way of using sex in a title without it being crude.” The sexy and slinky-hipped, Brown was a master of the art of the come-hither look, but when he originally wrote ‘You Sexy Thing’ it was intended to be a B-side for Hot Chocolate’s single ‘Blue Night’, with the combination of the suggestive lyrics, signature sound, and a Mickie Most re-mix, it reached No. 2 in the British charts and No. 3 in America.

You Sexy Thing:Top Of The Pops

In 1997 the track underwent a renaissance when it featured in the film ‘The Full Monty’, which told the story of six unemployed steel-workers from Sheffield who decide to form a striptease act. The scene in which the actor Robert Carlyle grinds his hips to ‘You Sexy Thing’ attracted a new generation of fans and gave Brown’s career a major boost. He helped with the promotion of the classic smash hit, which is a major part of the movie that was released by EMI Records in 1997.
Errol Brown BBC Interview

Errol hit the charts again in February 1998 when EMI released the single [It Started With a Kiss] and appeared on TOTP again. Errol completed a sell out 58 date UK tour, which included an outstanding performance at the London Palladium in May.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by CHRIS CAPSTICK/REX Shutterstock (60093i)

In July 1998 Errol embarked on an extensive promotion tour of concerts, television, radio and media appearances throughout Germany having topped the bill at The Frankfurt Festival where he played to an audience of over 300,000. Then In 1999 Errol embarked on a very successful tour across the UK completing 69 concerts.

A message from Errol

“I would like to thank you for coming out in large numbers right across the UK to once again show your love and support”

“There’s no doubt about it,” … “it relaunched my career and took me back into the Top 10. Then at my first gig in Scotland shortly after its release I was rushed on stage by about a hundred screaming girls – it was like the old days. I played more gigs the year after the film than I’d ever previously done over a 12-month period.”

The Queen’s birthday honors list of June 2003 Errol was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his services to popular music. The investiture took place on Nov 27th 2003.

In 2004 he received the Ivor Novello award, Britain’s most prestigious music award, for outstanding contribution to British music.

Having met Errol Brown in the 80’s in a London recording studio for a Charity record, i remember he was a kind,generous of heart and a consumate gentleman whose music will live on, that was his Legacy….R.I.P Errol Brown gone but not forgotten.


About Cheryl Huggins

Cheryl Huggins
Music evokes memories of a time, place, people, an event! Live life with Passion Ambition Creativity, After leaving London College of Fashion, Working on Tour with Loose Ends, Working in Media for Roots Magazine, as Fashion and Beauty Editor Teaching. Creative and Artistic development at Calvin Klein, Beauty and Makeup Specialist. Attended the Grammy Awards in L.A. All the elements came together.. Our goal was to build a platform for music... This Creation is just the start…

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